7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (2024)

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Derrick Riches

7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (1)

Derrick Riches

Derrick Riches is a grilling and barbecue expert. He has written two cookbooks.

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Updated on 02/9/24

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7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (2)

Instead of rubbing your turkey with butter, herbs, and spices, try injecting the flavor right into the meat. With an injector—a large syringe with a thick needle—you inject small doses of the marinade deep into the meat. This method flavors meat from the inside, tenderizing it and making it moist while slowly spreading the flavors through the bird.

How to Inject Marinades Directly Into a Turkey

Anything can go into your injector marinade, as long as it's small enough to get through the needle.If you really want herbs or another chunky ingredient in your injection, try blending the sauce at high speed to guarantee a smooth liquid.

The injection method can be used for turkeys you plan to roast, grill, smoke, or deep fry. No matter how you cook it, the method brings an immense amount of moisture and flavor, so you don't have to worry about dry or bland turkey. Plus, you can use injections alone, or pair a turkey injection with a traditionalturkey marinade,turkey rub, and eventurkey brine for even more flavor.

Remember to use injection marinades several hours before you start cooking the turkey. The earlier the meat is injected before roasting, the better the flavor will be in the end.

The collection of turkey injection marinades here will help you to seriously step up your turkey game. Once you try seasoning a turkey this way, you may find it difficult to go back to preparing your turkey any other way.


Watch Now: Everything You Should Know About Injecting Your Turkey

  • 01 of 07

    Beer and Butter Injection

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (4)

    A base of butter and beer in this injection keeps the meat from drying out while also boosting the flavor. Salt,Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder add plenty more savory flavor to the mix.

    Once you've made the injection fluid, be sure to keep it warm so the butter doesn't solidify. After injecting the turkey, rub it with your favorite dry rub to add even more flavor. Then stick that bird back in the fridge and let it sit until you're ready to cook it—you can inject it up to 36 hours ahead.

    Get the Recipe

  • 02 of 07

    Butter Based Injection

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (5)

    This is a great injection for any kind of poultry, not just turkey. A simple mixture of broth, butter, lemon, garlic, pepper, and salt delivers moisture and flavor to the white meat and enhances the texture and taste of the dark meat.

    If you're choosing to brine this bird and then inject it, do not add salt to the injection mixture because the turkey will end up being too salty.

    Get the Recipe

  • 03 of 07

    Cajun Turkey Injection

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (6)

    This spicy Cajun-inspired injection contains lemon, onion powder, garlic powder, crab boil, olive oil, butter, Cajun seasoning, Tabasco, and cayenne. It's a great choice if you're choosing to deep-fry your turkey because by injecting the flavors inside the meat, you won't have to worry about the hot oil washing them off.

    Distribute the injection evenly in all parts of the bird so you don't get large pockets of the spicy mixture. Wipe off any drips or excess moisture before deep frying.

    Round out the offerings with cornbread and sausage stuffing and other southern sides.

    Get the Recipe

  • 04 of 07

    Honey Beer Injection

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (7)

    This easy injection is made with a combination of Cajun seasoning, dark beer, honey, and apple cider. It's a simple mixture but one that will light up your taste buds thanks to the sweet and savory flavors.

    Because this injection marinade contains honey, you need to warm it up to use it. Just be careful that it isn't too hot before putting it in the injector. You don't want hot liquids leaking under pressure when you depress the syringe.

    Get the Recipe

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.

  • 05 of 07

    Italian Herb Injection

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (8)

    This marinade isn't spicy-hot but it is deeply flavorful thanks to the use of herbs in Italian seasoning, along with red wine, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

    Make sure that the herbs you use are well ground so that they will fit through your injection needle, and shake the syringe in between injections so the herbs don't settle.

    Get the Recipe

  • 06 of 07

    Savory Turkey Injection

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (9)

    This injection is full of traditional Thanksgiving turkey flavors, including finely ground dried herbs like bay leaf, thyme, and sage. Garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce boost the flavor even more, while keeping the flavors classic.

    For a variation, add finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and oregano. Once the injection is cool, blend at high speed with the fresh herbs. Strain through a mesh sieve to ensure the fibrous leftovers of the herbs don't pass into the injector.

    Get the Recipe

  • 07 of 07

    7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (10)

    In this recipe, a simple mixture of butter, white wine, and honey seasoned with cinnamon, salt, and white pepper is used both to inject the bird and to baste it. It's a simple mixture but it adds a ton of flavor and moisture to the turkey.

    Get the Recipe

Food Safety for Poultry

To keep your kitchen compliant with the USDA's food-safety best practices when working with turkey or any type of poultry, remember to:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling poultry. Also, wash in between if you need to reach for other ingredients or open the fridge door.
  • Wash cutting boards, utensils, and knives immediately after they've been in contact with raw or frozen poultry.
  • Thoroughly clean any surface that might have been in contact with raw poultry drippings. You can use antibacterial disposable wipes, a disinfectant spray with paper towels, or hot soapy water.
  • Don't rinse raw or frozen chicken. The splashing water will contaminate other parts of your kitchen and rinsing it doesn't eliminate potential bacteria.
  • Cook your poultry to safe temperatures and for an adequate length of time. Follow these standards for handling and cooking poultry. Always aim for 165 F as the interior temperature of your turkey.
  • Don't save unused injection marinade. The needle has been in contact with raw poultry and those juices easily travel upward to your unused marinade. Discard immediately after using and clean the injector well.
  • Your cooked leftover poultry must be in the refrigerator two hours after cooking. You can store it in an airtight container and eat it within 72 hours or freeze it for later use. If you don't consume it, discard it to avoid food poisoning.

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Article Sources

The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Safe Food Handling and Preparation: Poultry, Food Safety and Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

7 Injection Recipes for the Ultimate Roast Turkey (2024)


How much injector do I need for a turkey? ›

If you are using a needle injector you may have to use a coffee or spice grinder to make sure all dry herbs are small enough to fit through the needle and insert it into the breasts and thighs of the turkey. Inject each thigh and each side of the breast with 1/2 an ounce of marinade for every 5 lbs. of turkey.

What to season turkey with? ›

Stick with salt and pepper, put herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage to work, or take spicy Cajun seasoning for a spin for some kick. Whatever blend you choose, spread it all over the turkey—on top, underneath, between the body and wings and legs, under the skin, and even in the cavity of the bird.

Can you inject a turkey before deep frying? ›

I recommend injecting the turkey the night before you plan to fry, but it can be done as soon as one hour in advance. I've found that the flavor is more intense if you allow it to set overnight in the fridge.

How to roast turkey in Jamie Oliver? ›

Preheat your oven to full whack, get the turkey in the roasting tray and cover with foil. As soon as it goes in the oven, immediately turn the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. As a rough guide, you want to cook the turkey for about 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram, so a 7kg turkey will want about 4 to 4½ hours in the oven.

How far in advance should I inject turkey? ›

If you choose to wait before cooking your injected turkey, store it in the fridge but do not wait longer than 36 hours before cooking.

What is the secret to a moist turkey? ›

Well, think of brining as your insurance. If you're concerned your turkey might be dry, brining will keep it juicy and moist, even if you overcook it a bit. BUT– you won't overcook it due to Secret #3. During brining, the turkey absorbs extra moisture that keeps it moist during and after cooking.

Is it better to cook a turkey at 325 or 350? ›

We recommend roasting turkey at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 13 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey. We've done the math for you — check out the chart below to determine both turkey cook times and estimated servings (with leftovers!).

Should I put butter or oil on my turkey? ›

Because turkey breast is especially lean, I like to rub softened fat beneath the skin just before roasting. It melts and gives the meat extra flavor, richness, and moisture. Duck fat is wonderful for this, and it fortifies the poultry flavors, but unsalted butter works well, too.

Is it better to brine or inject a turkey? ›

It's an enzyme that will break down the meat, tenderizing it and absorbing the flavor at the same time. Injecting solves the problems of a marinade or brine not getting deep into the meat in a timely fashion.

Is it better to brine or inject a turkey for deep frying? ›

We have fried a lot of turkeys (80 once between thanks Giving and Christmas, don't recommend that). Brinning and injecting won't cause any problems, just have the bird as dry as you can when you are going to submerge it, much less spitting of hot oil that way.

Can you put butter on a turkey before deep frying? ›

This time around I opted to use a butter/herb mixture under the skin like in this Mouth-Watering Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe. Then sprinkle kosher salt all over the turkey skin.

How does Martha Stewart roast a turkey? ›

Roast 1 hour, then baste every 30 minutes with pan liquids, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 125°F, about 3 hours. Remove foil; raise oven heat to 400°F. Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until thigh reaches 180°F, 45 to 60 minutes more.

How does Gordon Ramsay cook a turkey? ›

Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for about 2 1⁄2 hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.

Should you roast a turkey covered or uncovered? ›

To achieve a perfectly golden, juicy turkey, let the bird spend time both covered and uncovered in the oven. We recommend covering your bird for most of the cooking time to prevent it from drying out; then, during the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, remove the cover so the skin crisps in the hot oven.

How much injector do I need? ›

When sizing your injector for gasoline a very simple rule of thumb to follow is: 1cc/min flow for each horsepower. So, if you want to make 1000 crank horsepower on 93 octane gasoline, using a fuel pressure of 43psi you need a 1000cc injector. This rule of thumb can be used for ethanol based fuels like e85.

How much fuel injector should I use? ›

Many injector cleaners call for an ounce of product per gallon of gas. Be sure to read the label before using.

How do I know how many fuel injectors I need? ›

The simple formula is horsepower times BSFC – or 500 horsepower x 0.5 = 250 lbs/hr of fuel. This is the amount of fuel we need to supply to the engine to achieve 500 hp. If we divide that volume by eight injectors (for a V8 engine), this comes to 31.25 lbs/hr necessary to feed the engine.

What lb fuel injectors do I need? ›

Flow Rate Definition, Calculating and Horsepower Range
Injector Flow RateNaturally Aspirated EngineEngine w/ Power Adder
24 lbs./hr.280-360 hp240-300 hp
30 lbs./hr.350-450 hp300-375 hp
36 lbs./hr.425-540 hp350-450 hp
42 lbs./hr.500-625 hp410-525 hp
4 more rows


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